Sunday, May 15, 2011

In praise of feedback!

I met with a gallery director this week which is an incredible treat because normally you contact a gallery and then never ever hear from them again.  This has happened to me a lot lately.  Last month I contacted 6 galleries sending them materials according to their instructions on the websites, contacted another 4-6 by email as they instructed.  Within a reasonable amount of time I sent a follow up email...have not heard ONE thing back from any of them.  Next will be the phone call to them.  Do they even look at your web link?  Do they even open the envelope with the CD of your images?  I have visions of galleries getting envelopes and just tossing them in the rubbish.  It just boggles the mind to think how many artists are out there versus how many galleries. I've also been in galleries and shared the horror of when someone comes in to show the director their art and try to get represented.  That is a killer, the worst approach ever and terribly embarrassing for all.  
But this week I got to have a valuable face-to-face with a gallery owner who spent a healthy chunk of time with me to look over my work.  He did so thoughtfully, slowly, while I practiced painful and uncommon restraint from babbling like an idiot over each piece.  When I get nervous I babble, this time I'm proud to say I did not.  Once again I tried to show a "range" of work, translation - it looked like an artist displaying her multiple personalities.  He was most kind and said it's always good to see a range then proceeded to give me what I dearly love and desparately need…terrific, clear, intelligent feedback.  None of the I like this, don't like that stuff.  He looked long at each piece and offered a range of comments. Of course what I wanted to hear was that I was clearly an undiscovered genius and his gallery would take all my work then turn me into an Art Star that puts Picasso to shame (he did a lot of different styles of work too…so hey!)  While it's always nice to hear good comments from friends and family they usually are not always things I want or should hear, however I am lucky to have some friends that give feedback like this guy did.  Now it's up to me to put his comments to good use.

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